Hey All,

Hope this finds you all well, healthy and happy!!

I’m BAAAAACK! Man, that was an AWESOME vacation … more on that later. Yes, I’ve seen a few of you around the gym and even trained a few sessions … until I realized I was way more beat-up (tired) than I thought I would be.

Ok, remember we’re answering the questions you see below. This week I’m answering … How can I manage my stress? Next week I’ll go over the last question of the series about the “15 minute weekend”.

  •    What the heck is a 15 minute weekend?


How can I manage my stress?

I’m going to start with saying … I had a freakin fantastic vacation!! That’s the first time in my life that I actually took a full two weeks at one time for a vacation. My last real vacation was also a backpacking trip in ’08! I absolutely NEEDED that time off and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just in case you didn’t know, I went backpacking for the two weeks in northeastern New Mexico!!! I love New Mexico already, but this was a phenomenal trip. We had all the elements of a wilderness trip … heat, dust, and very dry, plus hail, cold, long days, almost 70 miles of trails from 7,000 feet of elevation to 11,700 and only a shower and a half in two weeks! ‘Nothing to brag about and not very pleasant, but hey, that’s being in the wild!

How in the heck does this relate to stress management? Some of you have already figured it out. It means I got out of my normal environment and freed my mind and body to let go and just be. If backpacking for two weeks isn’t your thing, no worries, do something else. My point is to get away now and then. Years ago when I started my professional career and was on a strict budget, I still found time and money to get away now and then because it was important to me. I was working fulltime and had a second job at a beer store stocking the cooler a couple of nights a week and every other weekend. I needed some downtime, so … about once a month – never more than two – I’d pack my truck for an overnight stay and just drive one of the points of the compass. I’d finish teaching at the karate school and get the heck outta town! I’d drive to some small town, go to a local eatery and stay the night in the nicest little hotel around. Why – cuz it was a treat! And I earned it.

The take home message is to recognize when you need some down time … and take it! You don’t have to get out of town like I did, but just get away from the grind of your “normal” activity and see something new, do something different, and eat something you never have before. Go for a walk, visit a park or zoo, get involved with your community, volunteer ...

Sure, this seems too simple, right? Well, you are right. It should be simple. Dealing with your stress should be immediate and simple as soon as you recognize it. Don’t put it off, it’ll build and then you’ll deal with it in a not-so-positive manner. Don’t do that to yourself or your family or co-workers. It’s not their fault.

Stress is part of life – there’s no way to eliminate it. What matters most is how you handle it. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it, is to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms … oh yeah … AND EXERCISE!!!  

See you at the gym!!!!!